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[47] been burned. During the day there was a slight skirmish with the cavalry. In C. B. Maxwell's diary we read: ‘Our battery with General Dwight's Brigade. Joe Knowlton and I crossed river to plantation owned by a widow and obtained some milk and two dozen eggs. Just then the enemy's force fired on our cavalry pickets, killing one and wounding several. Joe and I started on double quick each with one dozen eggs in a handkerchief. Reached camp without losing or breaking one!’

On the 4th of May the whole army started for Alexandria. ‘Captain Dwight of General Banks' staff rode past the brigade with orders and when just in front of the battery he was fired on from across the bayou and killed. A company of cavalry was sent out in pursuit and succeeded in capturing the man who committed the deed. Three days later he was brought before the brigade and shot.’

May 12 Alexandria was reached and after a few days' rest a start was made for Port Hudson by way of Simsport and Bayou Sara.

Port Hudson was situated on a high bluff on the east side of the Mississippi at a sharp bend. Its fortifications were arranged for defense, the parapets averaging a thickness of 20 feet and the depth of the ditch below the parapet being not less than 15 feet. Below the landing known as Hickey's were the first batteries, on a bluff about 40 feet above high-water mark. Three series of batteries extended along the river for a continuous line of three miles. Above the creek was an impassable marsh. From the lower battery ran a line of land fortifications semi-circular in form and about ten miles in extent. 1

The Confederate forces numbered probably about 7000, the Union forces something over 30,000. General Banks' troops were commanded by Generals Weitzel, Auger, Grover,

1 See Lossing's History of Civil War.

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